If you Google ‘world’s most powerful passport’, you will definitely see the name ‘New Zealand’ pop up on your screen. That is because according to the recent 2020 global rankings by the Passport Index, the small country in the southern hemisphere has secured the top spot, meaning that people of the country who have it, are in the possession of the most powerful passport in the entire world.
What does it mean to have the most powerful passport?
For a country to have the strongest passport in the world, it has to be welcomed by other countries. In other words, the more countries that welcome the passport holder of a particular country — without a visa, with visa on arrival, or with a visa in advance — the higher it goes in the rankings.
It is believed that Kiwi passports allow their owners to enter 86 countries visa-free, 43 countries with visa on arrival, and 69 countries where visas are required.
While New Zealand earlier shared the position with Japan, it is now the sole holder of the number one position, per the Passport Index. Japan has moved down one spot and is sharing the second rank with Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Ireland, South Korea and Australia.
Sweden, Belgium, France, Finland, Italy and Spain take the third spot, while India ranks 58th on the list — a spot that it shares with Benin, Gabon, Jordan and Algeria. Indian passport holders can visit 18 countries visa-free, 34 countries with visa on arrival, and 146 countries where visas are required in advance.
The US ranks 21st on the list, along with Malaysia.
The passport ranking is based on real-time, visa restrictions, factoring in legislative changes, and entry requirements.
It suggests that despite the ongoing pandemic, New Zealand has managed to secure a global spot and has taken apposite measures to keep its citizens safe, thereby emerging as a strong and competitive global player.
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